This is the last one for today! FYI kids worry about losing their friends, especially best friends. What would happen if you found out you were allerg...moreThis is the last one for today! FYI kids worry about losing their friends, especially best friends. What would happen if you found out you were allergic to your best friend? Ultimately all P&E books are about emotion and friendship, and this one hits a sweet spot - especially for anyone whose had a friend move away. (less)
How such simple words and illustrations can be so emotive is beyond me - children are balls of emotion, and Willems finds a way to express them in suc...moreHow such simple words and illustrations can be so emotive is beyond me - children are balls of emotion, and Willems finds a way to express them in such an accessible manner is brilliant. He not only shows emotion but has pretty good patterns of emotion processing as well that are good jumping off point for conversations with Ellie. (less)
Ellie's vocabulary is reaching the sweet spot of being able to read most of these on her own and get most if the jokes. I think you can't progress thr...moreEllie's vocabulary is reaching the sweet spot of being able to read most of these on her own and get most if the jokes. I think you can't progress through reading development without reading Amelia Bedelia. Imagine being 8 years old and having to use context to draw meaning out of words with five definitions, I imagine it's pretty frustrating, and Amelia provides a way to turn the frustration into humor and absurdity.
If you haven't seen, there is an online contest every year for kids to produce a ninety second Newbery video film festival - and a group of kids did this book (even thought it's not a Newbery, it's done in that style) It was great. Here's the link(less)
Kids lit series as an intro to mythology. Wish we had not started with Aphrodite, you definitely have to end up describing how a married Aphrodite dec...moreKids lit series as an intro to mythology. Wish we had not started with Aphrodite, you definitely have to end up describing how a married Aphrodite decides to have a bunch of boyfriends and have kids with them. Which, we got to talk about how that is definitely not choosing the right. So it's all good. (less)
a fairly poorly written book where you are just confused about where it's all going, and not connecting with characters w...morei don't even know what to say
a fairly poorly written book where you are just confused about where it's all going, and not connecting with characters with the POV shifts, and the shift to a larger perspective was meh, and it somewhat redeemed itself at the end?
so I know these self-help books are cheesy, but seriously, good communication in marriage is HARD. And sometimes when a book gives you an assignment,...moreso I know these self-help books are cheesy, but seriously, good communication in marriage is HARD. And sometimes when a book gives you an assignment, like the first chapter: "schedule 10 minutes each day for each other to talk about your feelings," it's easier to do than if just one spouse suggests it. We've been already working on this communication thing lately (reflect, repeat, validate, etc.) and think this will just supplement what we've been working on.
ps I received this copy from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review(less)
I find myself in a peculiar situation as a Moderate Mormon Feminist against advocating for the priesthood, in reality I find peace in waiting...more3.5 stars
I find myself in a peculiar situation as a Moderate Mormon Feminist against advocating for the priesthood, in reality I find peace in waiting patiently for the further revelation regarding women's priestess-hood. So I really don't feel like I have a dog in the actual fighting going on around the "Ordain Women" movement, and obviously this book is in response to that.
Even though I don't believe in advocating for the priesthood, I'm still a feminist who wants to be a part of positive change regarding policies in the procedures of the church to eliminate gender inequality. Men and women are not the same and shouldn't be treated equally, but they should be treated equitably.
I will attempt to summarize the whole of Sheri Dew's book in a paragraph: She doesn't understand why people think women don't have anything to do in the church: LOOK! We pray and speak and lead our own organizations! The doctrine of Jesus Christ holds equality in women and men, but quit trying to be treated the same! If you understand who you are as a daughter of God you will stop being confused!! Be rooted in the gospel and quit worrying about these things, or else your roots will be weak! If you understand the plan of Salvation, you understand that women are to have children and men are to have the priesthood. We don't know why, we accept it with faith. We have our gender roles and that's what we're supposed to do. And Christ is at the head of the Church so STOP questioning it! I will provide no discussion at all about the mistakes and infallibility of human leaders of our church. Quit asking for the priesthood, we are already doing a lot: we are praying and leading organizations and teaching and stuff - and some churches don't let you even do that. So why are we complaining again? We are so vital to the work. We have all the access to every blessing the Lord has promised us. She has access to priesthood power as a single, endowed woman in her home, please stop telling her she doesn't. As for women having power in the early days of the church to lay on of hands, well, it's likely it all could have just been a mistake - or we were doing it wrong until we locked that practice up exclusively in the temple. She explains in a really awesome way the difference between keys, authority, and the power of the priesthood. We don't talk about Mother in Heaven because we're protecting her. Motherhood is a doctrine and you don't need kids to be a mother. If you just immerse yourself in the Gospel, you can change the world and be saved.
Now here is my response: Wow, what a mixed bag for me. I actually did learn a lot about the priesthood. In fact most of the book was very uplifting to me. She had some pretty insightful discussions about how women's path in life are ambiguous in the Church while men's paths are set. About how our goal in finding out our purposes in life may not include the Sunday School answers. But near the end I felt like she was really negative about people who disagreed with her, regardless of her earlier quotes of it being okay to have different opinions. She implied if you don't understand it her way you won't qualify for the celestial kingdom, that if you are confused you are ridiculous and 'absurd'. And you can tell she's trying to hold back the best she can what she really thinks. The main reasons women have questions about ordination are quickly dismissed or not even discussed at all. I disagree that if someone has a different opinion that they don't understand the plan of salvation. I very much don't agree with her opinion about celestial silence being necessary for Heavenly Mother, especially since it's not based in scripture or any leader ever of this church. It's a myth debunked. BUT I respect her with all of my heart. Her beliefs and interpretations are the product of her life and experiences - just as mine are.
I have a much more in depth Summary of my notes on the book and my responses to points made over at my blog. All in all I'd say there is insight to be gained in this book, but by in large it reflects the traditional beliefs in the Church about gender roles and our places in the organization. I certainly understand this perspective. She stuck to her own script about how to explain away Ordain Women, but I wish she would have spent some more time on their actual concerns and questions - and not just why she thinks they are wrong doctrinally. I spend a lot of my time defending OW as not being apostate against really mean people - and this book doesn't help my case, because in a round about way she implies that herself. I'm not sure if this does anything to help the dialog about women and the priesthood than to reinforce people's already held opinions and interpretations. There just doesn't seem to be any attempt at understanding that it is possible to be a mormon feminist and faithful at the same time. And if you are, well - you're just all caught up in Satan's distracting influence.
I actually am grateful for the OW movement, even though I disagree with them because I think they are prompting a conversation we should be having. A real and hard look at gender and the church and the priesthood. I know I've been more sincere and earnest in my study this year regarding this topic, especially inside the temple, because of it - and I'm grateful for it. I don't want to focus on what we're doing wrong, but what could we be doing better?
I recently told my husband the reason I am a feminist is because I am a mother and because I cherish that role. Because I care so deeply for my daughter and her experiences in life, I do feel prompted by the Spirit to try to change gender inequalities. And because I am a faithful Mormon feminist, there is nothing any human can do on this earth to take me away from the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know He lives and loves me. I know that all things will be made right in the end. I know I will see my Father and Mother in Heaven face to face and every question I have now will be answered in the next life.
p.s. Can I just say Sheri Dew is my hero, and long for the days of her exhorting and expounding over the pulpit, even if we do disagree sometimes.
p.p.s. I submitted a portion of this review to be published on DeseretBook.com, and can I just say - I guess I'm not surprised they chose not to publish it. Heaven forbid :-)
Think Titanic, but instead of a unsinkable ship, it's an unsinkable spaceship that can hold 50,000+ people as it jet sets in hyperspace mode acr...moreUPDATE
Think Titanic, but instead of a unsinkable ship, it's an unsinkable spaceship that can hold 50,000+ people as it jet sets in hyperspace mode across light years.
Enter Jack = Tarver, a regular joe from a middle-class-planet who joined the armed forces at 16 to quell rebellions on outlying planets. This 18 yo happens to now be a highly-decorated war hero that those stuffy elites with first-planet problems obsess over and can't get enough of his rags-to-riches story. Enter Rose = Lilac, the only daughter of Mr. LaRoux, the owner of the corporation who developed the technology to settle these planets and owns/built the space titanic. So, a galactic-ally famous heiress.
Now imagine the first chapter is cheesy and talks about how they meet and how she drops her glove and flutters her eyelashes and it's all shallow and stupid and you don't think you want to read a book like this.
Imagine you decide to keep reading, and the freaking space ship is torn apart as it is pulled out of hyperspace and these two end up on an escape pod together and NO ONE ELSE SURVIVES and they crash land on a mysteriously uninhabited planet.
And this shallow book you were reading now becomes a survival story that shows when you are the only two people on earth (or are they?) you have no choice but to reveal who you really are. And this book got all sorts of good up in here. Were the authors purposely trying to start crappy and then turn it into a really smart, alien-planet-survival-sci-fi mystery? I don't know. But I ended it actually using my brain. There is a mysterious plot twist at the end that sets the whole series up for more honest-to-goodness plot amazingness, and thinking about all of the possible directions this story could go is mind-boggling. Talk about good scifi. So aside from the A+ plot, the world building (literally) blew me away (and I mean the literal world building, not literally being blown away), and I thought the revealing of characters and their relationship was good . . . but also I feel a possibility that this could be turned into some genre-bachelor-like-space-soap-opera, and I'm hoping the series sticks to more politics and science. So authors, please don't turn this series into a reality show - let's use our author talents better than that, mm?
We shall see. (as I hurry off to mark book #2 a must-read)
p.s. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, and believe me, all my netgalleys don't get 5 stars! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wow. Utterly original, fantastic, hyperspace disaster, sci-fi survival, love story, adventure. Review to come.
I have been giving a lot of fours and fives lately, and thought maybe I'm getting soft with my ratings. But I really am reading books that blow me away, so maybe I'm just getting better at choosing amazing books :).(less)
In an alternate universe, the UK has been beset on all sides by "The Problem" of paranormal activity. It turns out only children have the gift to see...moreIn an alternate universe, the UK has been beset on all sides by "The Problem" of paranormal activity. It turns out only children have the gift to see or hear the problems around us and thus they are trained as "agents" with adult supervisors in vanquishing all types of ghost-like behavior. Lucy ends up joining the Lockwood & Co. agency, and all heck breaks loose. Literally.
Usually I don't' like to be scared. Ever. I just went to the haunted forest this month and decided I never want to go again! I'm not sure I would describe it as a positive experience. So it was with some trepidation that I requested this book from Netgalley. I passed on it the first time but when Elizabeth Bird reviewed and recommended it on her blog, I decided it must be good and I took the leap. It just so happens I picked it up to read on Halloween.
It was perfect. It was SO MUCH FUN. It was just the right amount of creep factor without being gory or violent. The horror was so spot on with the ghosts I started wondering if it was age appropriate. And then I remember being in the middle grades - and a lot of us loved to read scary books! And this is so age appropriate for the middle-school-horror genre. Heck it was fun for me, even if I didn't want to read it in the dark - it sure made my Halloween more fun.
Stroud created a world that felt current and Victorian at the same time. The world building and unfolding of the plot and mystery were excellent, even if I did figure out the bad guy before the big reveal. I loved Lucy and feel like there's great room for development in the characters of Lockwood and George and the three of them together (in the future books in the series).
4.5 stars, because for what this book is - it does so well, I can't think of one complaint. This would be the first book to recommend to others looking for a skeery ghost story. (less)
So excited to get an ARC from Penguin First Reads - LHAnderson is amazing. Although her YA works are popular, they are far from filler. Looking forwar...moreSo excited to get an ARC from Penguin First Reads - LHAnderson is amazing. Although her YA works are popular, they are far from filler. Looking forward to some good YA literature, it's been a while. (less)
I've recently seen this series being buzzed about by some YA book bloggers. My interest is typically piqued when a utah/lds author is able to...more3.5 stars
I've recently seen this series being buzzed about by some YA book bloggers. My interest is typically piqued when a utah/lds author is able to break out of 'good mormon literature' and actually get praise for being 'good literature'. I was intrigued.
It's a modern-day retelling of the Persephone myth, by Utah author (it's a tame romance, obv), that I actually liked. It was good. Not mind-blowing, mind you. But I aint mad I read it. An original plot (as original as retellings can me) and a nice set of moral dilemmas, angst, bad choices and consequences, and trying to do the right thing.
FYI ever since staying at home I am having a hard time trying to find an acceptable balance for reading time. Most of the time since I never feel caught up on my to-do list I don't read for a few weeks until I'm on burnout and I have to binge-read to recenter myself. In this state of existence I have noticed my tendency towards escapist fantasy and less classics and meaty non-fiction (which I still love). I was starting to feel bad about it, but just decided, "Self, you read what you need to read. Right now, your brain is attracted to YA trilogies, which is disappointing, but just accept it. This too shall pass, but you might as well enjoy it." And so it shall be done.(less)